A total of 122 clubgoers tested positive for drugs after a raid on a pub in Bangkok's Lat Phrao district led by Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul in the small hours on Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesperson Traisuree Taisoranakul said.
The 2.20am raid on Sonic Club Bangkok on Praditmanutham road followed an investigation which found the pub was a hub for drug users, serving as a drug distribution point for retailers in an area along the Ram Intra expressway.
At the time of the raid, 214 customers were inside the pub. They attempted to flee but officers blocked all the exits. One customer was under 20 years of age and seven were not carrying a national identification card.
In subsequent urine tests, 122 of them - 76 men and 46 women - were found to have used drugs. The drug users would be put into a rehabilitation process on a voluntary basis. Legal action would be taken against those who refused to participate in he process, Ms Traisuree said.
Sonic Club Bangkok was found to be operating as an entertainment venue where food and alcoholic drinks were served with a band playing for customers to dance.
The place was operating without a permit and drug use was rampant inside, the spokesperson said. During the raid, the authorities found numerous sachets of various kinds of drugs including ecstasy, ketamine and methamphetamine pills scattered on the floor. Happy water, a new kind of drug, was also available in the pub.
Ms Traisuree said the pub owner and those who were involved in its operation were arrested and charged with operating the business without a permit, selling alcoholic drinks to youngsters under 20 years of age, selling alcohol beyond the time limit and allowing use of drugs.
The authorities would recommend that the Interior Ministry issue an order to close the place for five years under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s order No 22/2015, she said.
Apart from Mr Anutin, Department of Provincial Administration director-general Ansit Sampanthurat also took part in the raid by about 30 territorial defence volunteers and Chok Chai police.